What Can You Do to Be a Responsible Ecotourist?

  • Before embarking on an ecotour, seek answers in writing to the following questions: (1) What precautions are taken to reduce the tour's impact on local ecosystems and species? (2) What percentage of the people involved in planning, organizing, and guiding tours are local? (3) Are the guides trained naturalists? (4) Will you stay in locally owned hotels or other facilities, or will you be staying in accommodations owned by national or international companies? (5)Does the tour operation respect local customs and cultures? If so, how? (6) What percentage of the tour's gross income goes into the salaries and businesses of local residents? (7) What percentage of tour's gross income does the tour company donate to local conservation and social projects?
  • Stay on designated trails and at designated campsites and follow the wilderness motto of leaving no trace.
  • Do not harass or disturb animal and plant life.
  • Do not buy furs, ivory products, items made of reptile skin, tortoiseshell jewelry, feathers, and materials made from endangered or threatened animal species.

Podcasts
Antarctica's March of the Tourists - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88574188